Using Evernote to record a lesson

I mentioned this on Twitter last night, and quite a few people were interested in it, so I thought I should write a blog post about my use of Evernote in my class this week.

We’re in the midst of a close study of Animal Farm, in preparation for the crafting of a text response essay. There are no bells and whistles about my delivery of content this week. This is old fashioned class discussion, with a lot of teacher talk happening as we dissect the novel, looking for key plot developments and pertinent quotes that we might be able to use in the upcoming (sight unseen) essay. The students are marking up their novel as we discuss events and there’s an awful lot of sharing taking place.

Yesterday, two students were absent. They were going to miss some critical information, so I opened up my desktop version of Evernote, created a new note, and clicked on the microphone icon. This opened up the option for recording. I made sure my inbuilt microphone on my computer was turned up and pressed record. 77 minutes later I stopped the recording and emailed it to the students. Because I’m emailing through Evernote, the huge file that it is sends and arrives in the student’s school mail.

Five minutes later I got an email from one of the students saying thanks. I checked with her today, and she said the recording was fine, she just had a little trouble hearing some of the responses from students who were further away from my computer. Today, all the students were present, but I asked if they would like me to record the lesson. They did, and at least 8 of them asked that I email today’s recording onto them when our lesson was over. I love that they can revisit what we covered, and maybe cross check that they marked up in their novel what we identified as relevant.

Evernote has to be my favourite notetaking and organisational tool. If you’re not yet an Evernote user, you should be. My students were fascinated by it when I told them what I was doing yesterday, and many have investigated it as a result. It has so much potential in school settings, and is something I would like to see students have the option to use. Teachers too!